JIFS Former Client Guides Youth After Completing Forensic Gang Expert College

Now a transformational coach with the Success Stories Program, Hugo recently completed training in the Center for Juvenile Law & Policy’s Independent Forensic Gang Expert College

Gang Expert Hugo Poses After Graduation

Juvenile Innocence and Fair Sentencing (JIFS) clinic client Hugo Gonzalez served 18-and-a-half years in prison before the multiple life sentences he received as a teenager were commuted by Governor Jerry Brown. Now a Transformational Coach and Alumni Coordinator with the Success Stories Program, Hugo speaks at schools and conferences about gang intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry.

Hugo remains in touch with his JIFS family, and as a recent graduate of the Center for Juvenile Law & Policy’s Independent Forensic Gang Expert College now uses his expertise to help courts and juries understand the real reasons youth may become associated with gangs and the mitigating factors that should be considered when sentencing youth.  A public defender who recently enlisted Hugo to serve as an expert witness applauded his ability to speak persuasively from experience for the jury and to “show other formerly incarcerated people that there’s hope at the end of a seemingly endless tunnel of injustice and despair.”

The Center for Juvenile Law & Policy's Independent Forensic Gang Expert College is funded with the generous support of the California Wellness Foundation.